Jamesetta D. Williams
LEON says it observes that over 98% of polling places opened within the first 30 minutes. LEON recognizes that over 80% of polling places are accessible to persons with disabilities. LEON observes that over 99% of polling places had their electoral materials.
LEON notes that both political parties have poll watchers at more than 96% of polling places. LEON calls on NEC to improve gender balance among polling place officials in the future.
The Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON) is pleased to submit to the Liberian people and the international community this mid-day statement on its initial findings from observations during the opening of polling places for the second round of the 2023 presidential election.
LEON is a network of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP), Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), and National Union of Organizations of the Disabled (NUOD). Since 2017, LEON has developed into a respected election observation organization operating in the democracy and governance space and has successfully conducted a range of activities, including election observation, legislative monitoring, social media monitoring, political participation of women and persons with disabilities, citizen perception surveys, and advocating for electoral law reform.
As of 7:00 AM, on November 14, 2023, LEON deployed 1,048 observers, including 73 long-term observers (LTOs), assigned to each electoral district; 904 short-term observers (STOs), assigned to randomly selected polling places; 18 mobile field observers (MFOs), assigned to designated counties; and 53 field coordinators (FCs), assigned to support data collection. LEON’s four Steering Committee members also deployed to monitor electoral proceedings in Monrovia. All observers are fully accredited by the National Elections Commission (NEC). The STOs are assigned to 904 polling places, representing a viable statistical presence in all counties. LEON’s observer coverage includes approximately 15% of all polling places from among the 73 electoral districts.
LEON provides the following findings from the opening of polls from around the country. Opening of Polls (Data as of 12:45 PM). LEON’s observers reported the following information on the opening of polling places.
LEON notes that approximately 98.3% of polling places observed opened within the first 30 minutes from the official poll opening time. LEON recognizes that this figure is approximately 8% higher than the approximately 89.1% recorded during the October 10th elections.